La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Northern Region
Population: 15,383
Elevation: 253 mts

Province of Alajuela
Arenal Volcano National Park

La Fortuna Travel Guide

La Fortuna de San Carlos is a small town located in the north of Costa Rica and almost 4 miles away from the Arenal Volcano, one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica. This area offers a lot of attractions and activities that combine nature and adventure. Visitors to La Fortuna, Costa Rica can enjoy the panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano, relax in the thermal waters, hike or ride along many nature trails and enjoy a walk around town visiting restaurants and the souvenir stores that La Fortuna offers. Lake Arenal is also nearby and offers some of the best windsurfing and kite surfing in the world, as well as several good mountain-biking trails along its shores.

Things to do in La Fortuna

Arenal Volcano National Park
The Arenal Conservation Area (Costa Rica National Park) stretches 200,000 hectares along the northern spine of Costa Rica. Walk on the short trails through some young secondary forests and old lava from previous eruptions of the Volcano. These walks are always guided by rangers so you don’t have to worry about safety.

Kayaking on Lake Arenal
Enjoy a pleasant time kayaking on Lake Arenal with breath-taking views of the Arenal Volcano. During your trip you may observe different species of birds like the “Flycatcher,” “Kingfisher,” “Great Blue Heron” and “Anhinga”.

Mountain Biking in Lake Arenal
Biking in Lake Arenal is a great way to experience the area's amazing natural features such as tranquil farmlands, green hills and rivers along the base of the Arenal Volcano.

La Fortuna Waterfall Hike
La Fortuna Waterfall is a 70 meter waterfall on the Fortuna River that plunges into a natural pool amid lush tropical forest, one of the best things to see when you come to the Arenal area. During the hike down to this waterfall you will enjoy the natural beauty of the rainforest as well as the birds and wildlife that live there.

Hot Springs
There are a number of natural hot springs throughout the area of Arenal Volcano. Warm and soothing, these springs offer you an ideal way to relax after a day spent exploring Arenal.

Canyoning in La Fortuna
You can rappel down huge waterfalls, jump into pools, downclimb the canyon walls and river boulders, and hike up through the rainforest.

Canopy Tours and Hanging bridges
Experience the adrenaline rush on the canopy tour or walk in the tree-tops on the hanging bridges to enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding forest.

Costa Rica Cooking Class and Dinner
Learn about Costa Rican food and the local agricultural products such as yucca, tiquisque, mamón chino, sugar cane and other interesting local foods and learn to cook up some Tico-style "picadillos," tortillas and "guisados" for a delicious sit-down meal.

Visit a Coffee and Chocolate Plantation
Learn about coffee plantations and how the beans are grown, harvested and turned into coffee. Then, delight in a delicious demonstration of the chocolate-making process as the rich history of the cacao plant is explained. 

La Fortuna tours to other destinations nearby

Wildlife Safari Float on the Peñas Blancas River
While slowly floating over the Peñas Blancas River you will enjoy the sights and sounds of a variety of animals. Some of the animals you would be able to spot are: monkeys, caimans, iguanas, crocodiles, sloths and a wide range of birds. The Safari float combines the beautiful nature and wildlife with a peaceful expedition on the water.

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge Boat Tour along Rio Frío
Located 1 hour and 30 minutes away from La Fortuna, the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge encompasses an area of about 10,000 hectares near the border with Nicaragua. This is one of the best places for birdwatching in Costa Rica. You can catch a glimpse of the exotic Jabiru Stork, the tallest flying bird found in Central and South America. You may also see wood storks, cormorants, and other varieties of birds.

Sarapiqui Rafting Class III
This river is a mixture of exciting white water rapids and quieter sections for wildlife viewing and relaxation. The Sarapiquí River is surrounded by lush tropical vegetation as well as farmland and towering trees. You can observe many species of birds such as toucans and hummingbirds. Frequently spotted are monkeys, iguanas, sloths and river turtles

Location and Map

La Fortuna, Costa Rica is reachable by car or private transfer. It is located 135 km/84 miles from the Liberia International Airport (LIR) and 114 kms / 70 miles from the San Jose International Airport (SJO). It is an approximately 2 hours and 30 minute drive.

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